LE TOUR: Aussie, Aussie, Aussie – Evans snatches stage victory

Former World Champion, Australian Cadel Evans beat Spanish Tour favourite Alberto Contador to the line to win stage 4 of the Tour de France. Three Brits in the top 10 overall. Evans was one of the favourites for the finish on top of one kilometre long ten per cent climb and he managed to snatch the victory by only inches from Contador but the big surprise was how well yellow jersey, Thor Hushovd hung on to keep his jersey in the same time as Evans, crossing the line 6th.

In the rush to the line, the lead group split with 11th placed Bradley Wiggins losing 6 seconds to his overall rivals while a few seconds back was Yellow jersey hopeful David Millar, at eight seconds. Geraint Thomas still leads the White jersey competition for best young rider from his Sky teammate Boasson Hagen on the same time. Ben Swift is 11th in that competition at the moment. 

Team Sky’s Bradley Wiggins said after the stage “It’s probably not much of a climb if you do it in training but the way the stage was, with the wet, the wind and a nervy peloton, that was pretty tough at the end of 170k. I just conceded a few seconds at the top there but gained a lot on other people and at the end of three weeks it’s not going to mean much. It was a tricky finish and it’s a question of making sure you stay out of trouble again, staying upright and getting it all out so I’m pretty happy.”

 “It’s still early days yet and these stages are all about not giving anything away but the real stuff is still to come.”

 The white jersey for team Sky, Geraint Thomas, had this to say afterwards “We started the climb at the front, with Brad in a good position, and then it’s all about giving everything to the top and getting up it as quick as you can. Those last 500 metres were hurting a bit but I just had to hold the wheel in front of me and all in all I think it’s another decent day for the team.”

“There was a lot of stress in the bunch earlier on and it was a long, hard day especially with the weather playing its part too. But I feel pretty good and have just been getting stuck in every day; when you’ve got a jersey like this you have to dig in and give it everything – and I’m enjoying it.”

 Sean Yates, Team Sky Sports Director explained : “It was an exciting finish and it’s good we’ve still got the three guys in the top 10 on the GC. Everything is very much on track and we’re in the right place but it’s a long waiting game in many ways, especially for Brad.” 

“We knew it was going to be hard on that final climb today and so it proved. Those sort of finishes don’t particularly suit Brad but he only lost six seconds to the front group so it was a great result and the team worked well. The plan was to make sure Brad was in the right place at the bottom of the climb and then it was always going to be a bit of a free-for-all after that. So it proved and plenty of guys attacked on that final climb – and Rigo was one of those who was able to fire which was good to see.” 

Previous Stages

Stage 4
1. Cadel Evans, BMC 4:11:39
2. Alberto Contador, Saxo Bank Sungard
3. Alexandre Vinokourov, Astana
4. Rigoberto Urán, Team Sky
5. Philippe Gilbert,  Omega Pharma-Lotto
6. Thor Hushovd, Garmin-Cervelo
7. Fränk Schleck, Leopard Trek
8. Samuel Sanchez, Euskaltel-Euskadi
9. Jurgen Van Den Broeck, Omega Pharma-Lotto
10. Andreas Klöden, RadioShack

11. Bradley Wiggins, Sky, @ 6 secs
22. David Millar, Garmin @ 8 secss
29. Geraint Thomas, Sky, @ 8 secs
97. Ben Swift. Sky @ 1.22
150. Mark Cavendish, HTC Highroad @ 4.17

Overall after stage 4
1.  Thor Hushovd, Garmin-Cervelo
2. Cadel Evans, BMC @ 1 sec
3. Frank Schleck, Lepoard Trek  @ 4 secs
4. David Millar, Garmin Cervelo  @ 8 secs
5. Andreas Kloden, Radioshack @ 10 secs
6. Bradley Wiggins, Sky @ 10 secs
7. Geraint Thomas, Sky, @ 12 secs
8. Edvald Boasson Hagen, Sky, @12 secs
9. Andy Schleck, Leopard Trek @ 12 secs
10. Jakob Fugslang, HTC Highroad @ 13 secs

49. Ben Swift, Sky, @2.06
94. Mark Cavendish, HTC Highroad @4.22

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